U.S. Senate candidates will meet once on the same stage before Nov. 8

10/04/2016 01:19 PM

As the League of Women Voters of Kentucky cancels their planned debate between U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic challenger Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, the two campaigns will now meet only once before Election Day.

The League of Women Voters, said they were forced to scrap their debate after Paul, R-Kentucky, refused to participate.

One day before the League of Women Voters planned debate, the candidates will meet live on KET’s Kentucky Tonight.

The League of Women Voters debate was scheduled for October 30 at the University of Kentucky and was to be broadcast live on WKYT in Lexington, WLKY in Louisville, and other television stations serving the state, according to the league.

“Research conducted on voter behavior and participation shows that not only does the public expect candidates to participate in voter education activities but it also found that voters are more likely to vote when they know who the candidates are and where they stand on issues,” said Dr. Terry Naydan, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Kentucky. When candidates choose not to participate, it is a loss for the voters.”

Cathy Lindsey, Gray’s campaign spokesperson, criticized Paul for not agreeing to match wits with Paul, despite attending debates prior to the GOP presidential nominating contests.

“Rand Paul had time to travel the country and do multiple debates when he was running for President but he can’t spare an hour for the people of Kentucky? That’s outrageous.” Lindsey said. “Kentuckians deserve to hear from both candidates what their plans are if elected. Rand Paul seems only interested in getting elected to higher office and elevating himself. Kentucky continues to be his last priority.”

Meanwhile, Paul’s campaign spokesperson Kelsey Cooper issued a statement saying they have agreed to participate in the October 31, Kentucky Tonight televised forum.

“Dr. Paul has taken his message directly to the people in over 110 town halls across Kentucky, so he is happy to accept KET’s debate invitation and continue his efforts to present voters with a clear picture of a Senator who believes in less spending, less taxes, and less debt,” said Cooper.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.




  • Geoff Young wrote on October 05, 2016 09:03 AM :

    The LWV’s new policy is a disservice to the public. They weren’t forced to cancel it. They chose not to turn the debate into a public interview with the candidate who accepted, Jim Gray (D). I’ve participated in three televised LWV public forums where my cowardly opponent refused to show up: Stan Lee (R-KY House) in 2012, Elisabeth Jensen (D) in 2014, and Jack Conway (D) in 2015. In 2016, Nancy Jo Kemper (D) accepted, to her credit, but the cowardly & hypocritical Andy Barr (R-KY6) chickened out. Candidates who are cowards should pay a political price. The League’s new policy should be scrapped. If they invite everyone on the ballot, the show must go on even if only one shows up, in order to accomplish their purpose of educating the public about the issues. Whichever lawyer is currently advising the LWV is wrong. All they need to do is change it from a “debate” to a “forum” or a “public interview” and the problem is solved.

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